What to Expect During a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure

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What to Expect During a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure

If you’re frustrated by the persistent appearance of yellow or stained teeth, you may be ready for professional teeth whitening. Find out how this safe and effective treatment delivers dramatic results and what the procedure involves.

Whether you’re communicating with colleagues or socializing with friends, having discolored or stained teeth can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed when you talk or smile. While whitening toothpaste and whitening strips can have some effect, they can’t duplicate the dramatic results and accompanying confidence that professional teeth whitening delivers. 

Professional teeth whitening produces optimal results because the procedure uses whitening gels that contain up to 40% hydrogen peroxide solutions, the strongest whitening chemicals available. These chemicals can be effective in removing stains or discoloration due to aging, tobacco use, or consuming dark foods and beverages.

Since these chemicals are so intense, you can risk having adverse effects such as extreme tooth sensitivity if they’re not properly applied and monitored. However, when administered by a dental professional, these chemicals can achieve the deepest degree of whitening while maintaining the natural health of your teeth and gums. 

You can feel confident that you’ll achieve the brightest possible smile when you work with teeth whitening specialist, Nicole Thompson, DMD, of Lovely Smiles Orthodontics in Richmond, Texas. The dental team at Lovely Smiles Orthodontics specializes in helping patients achieve stunning smiles by using the safest and most effective products in their teeth whitening treatments. 

Professional teeth whitening can change your appearance and improve your self-confidence in just one office visit during your lunch break. Find out what to expect during a professional teeth whitening procedure and the type of results you can achieve. 

Preparing your mouth 

You won’t have to worry about any formal preparation for your professional teeth whitening procedure. Your dental team begins your preparation when you arrive at the office. 

The first step involves a dental check up and cleaning within 6 months prior to the appointment. This removes bacteria and plaque to ensure the whitening chemicals are applied directly on the surfaces of your teeth to better penetrate the enamel. 

It’s also an opportunity for your dentist to check for potential problems such as severe tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth cracks, which could be irritated by the whitening chemicals. If any of these conditions are present, your treatment may be postponed until they are corrected. 

Before your procedure begins, your dentist uses a shade guide to demonstrate the degree of whitening that you can expect to achieve during your treatment. This step involves determining how many shades whiter you want to accomplish. 

While it may be tempting to get the whitest shade possible, choosing an extreme white may draw attention to dental components such as composite bonding, implants, or crowns, which don’t react to whitening. Your dentist guides you with recommendations to ensure you get satisfactory results. 

Whitening your teeth

To begin your teeth whitening, a cheek retractor is used to expose the treatment area and protect your lips and cheeks from the bleaching agents. A protective gel or guard is used to protect your gums and the soft tissue between your teeth.

The front of each tooth is carefully coated with the whitening agent. A dental professional monitors your progress to ensure that your teeth reach the desired shade and your teeth and gums remain protected. 

The total treatment time for a professional teeth whitening procedure is about an hour. After your procedure, you simply brush and rinse and leave the office to resume your normal activities. 

Maintaining your results

You may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after your professional teeth whitening. However, professional-grade whitening gels typically include desensitizers like fluoride and potassium nitrate to reduce this effect. 

Your teeth may appear whiter than their new color immediately after your treatment. It may take a couple of days for the true effects of your professional teeth whitening to emerge.

Depending on your results, you may choose to schedule another treatment until your teeth reach your desired shade. 

You will also be provided with an at home whitening kit. You can use it to further whiten your teeth or to maintain your results.

While you can achieve impressive results with professional teeth whitening, your whiter teeth won’t be permanent. You can expect your results to last between one and three years.

Taking the following precautions can help extend your results: 

  • Avoid consuming dark and acidic foods and beverages
  • Rinse your mouth with water after meals to prevent residue from sticking to your teeth
  • Stop all tobacco use
  • Get regular dental examinations and cleanings

Find out more about professional teeth whitening and how this procedure can deliver your whitest smile. Call our office today to schedule your appointment.